The newly elected Congress government in Karnataka held a momentous swearing-in ceremony for its full-fledged state Cabinet on Saturday at the Raj Bhavan. The Cabinet comprises 24 ministers, including Laxmi Hebbalkar, MLA from Belagavi Rural, who is the only woman minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet.
The Cabinet expansion was a result of much deliberation and negotiation over the selection of ministers. The induction of these 24 new ministers on Saturday brings the Congress Cabinet in Karnataka to its full capacity of 34 ministers. It is worth noting that eight ministers were previously sworn in alongside CM Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM D K Shivakumar on May 20.
Hebbalkar’s appointment to the cabinet is a significant milestone in her illustrious career as a fierce Congress leader. Hailing from the Panchamasali Lingayat community in Belagavi district, Hebbalkar was reelected as the Congress candidate from the Belagavi Rural constituency with a resounding victory. She had previously secured the Congress nomination in the 2013 Assembly polls from the same constituency. Although Congress emerged victorious in the state polls, Hebbalkar lost to BJP candidate Sanjay Patil. However, her unwavering commitment to the party did not go unnoticed, and she was appointed as the president of the state women’s Congress, a clear indication of her rising stature within the party.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Hebbalkar was fielded as the party candidate from the Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency, but unfortunately, she lost to the late BJP leader and former Union Minister Suresh Angadi. Despite this setback, Hebbalkar remained undeterred and continued to work tirelessly for the Congress party.
In 2018, Hebbalkar and her associates made headlines when they attempted to remove the Jarkiholi brothers from their control of the primary land development (PLD) bank in Belagavi. This move was seen as a bold and strategic move by Hebbalkar to consolidate her position within the party and assert her influence in the region.
This Cabinet expansion marks a significant step forward for the Congress government in Karnataka, as it seeks to address the needs and concerns of its citizens. With a full team of ministers in place, the government can now focus on implementing its policies and initiatives to improve the lives of the people of Karnataka.